World Stamps

Dingguo Dai

Jersey souvenir sheet depicts flags from another era

January 15, 2018 07:30 PM

  • The Jersey £2 Popular Culture: The 1960s souvenir sheet.
  • Close-up of one of the Jersey flags shown on the souvenir sheet stamp.
  • An illustration of Jersey’s first official flag, adopted in 1979 and officially hoisted in 1981, is shown on the left. The unofficial flag used before then is pictured on the right.
  • A second souvenir sheet in Jersey’s Popular Culture: The 1960s issue includes six stamps se-tenant (side-by-side). These stamps also were produced separately in sheets of 10.

By Dingguo Dai

The wrong flag is pictured on a recent souvenir sheet from Jersey.

Jersey Post issued this souvenir sheet Jan. 26 as part of a stamp set looking at the popular culture of the 1960s (Linn’s, Jan. 22, page 34).

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Malcolm English, an award-winning designer, created the illustration for the souvenir sheet. In announcing the Popular Culture: The 1960s set, Jersey Post described English’s artwork as a “playful interpretation of Jersey’s main shopping area, incorporating King Street and Queen Street. Bright, clashing colours, typical of 1960s decor are prominent, with lively hues of red, orange, purple and pink decorating the shop-fronts.”

The sheet contains a single £2 stamp showing a perfume shop, wool shop and drapers (a dealer in cloth). A Jersey flag is hanging from the second story of the perfume shop. The same flag can be seen in the selvage on the right side of the sheet above the grocery.

When I carefully examined these flags, I realized that they were wrong.

Shown on the left is the nearby illustration is Jersey’s current flag. It features a diagonal red cross, called a saltire, and the badge of Jersey on a white field. The badge shows the three leopards of Normandy on a red shield, topped by a Plantagenet crown.

This flag was adopted June, 12, 1979; proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II Dec. 10, 1980, for use in the Bailiwick of Jersey as the island’s flag; and officially hoisted April 7, 1981.

The current flag is the first to be adopted officially. Unofficially, a plain red saltire had been used since at least the 1830s until April 6, 1981. It is pictured on the right.

Because this souvenir sheet was issued to recall pop culture of the 1960s, a flag not adopted until 1979 and not officially hoisted until 1981, should not be pictured.

I sent an email to Melanie Gouzinis, the head of philately for Jersey Post, telling her that the Jersey flags shown on the souvenir sheet were incorrect. Gouzinis replied, “You are as observant as always!”

She also explained that the illustrations for the souvenir sheet was not intended to be 100-percent factually correct and called it an artistic interpretation.

Malcolm English also designed the 63-penny Music stamp in the set. This stamp was pictured in the aforementioned article in the Jan. 22 Linn’s.

The five other stamps feature illustrations by Oscar Wilson, 49p Language; Billy Hilson, 73p Fashion; Bob Venables, 79p Events; Debbie Powell, 90p Food; and Aurelie Guillerey, £1.07 Leisure.

These six stamps were issued separately in sheets of 10 and in a single souvenir sheet with a time line at the bottom. The stamps are se-tenant (side-by-side) in this souvenir sheet.

Hat-Trick Design Ltd. designed the stamps and souvenir sheets. Joh. Enschede printed them by offset lithography.